Should Guest Blogging Be Part of your Local SEO Strategy?
Are you still creating guest posts to increase your brand’s online visibility? Guest blogging has been the topic of controversy for quite a while now. This is all thanks to Matt Cutts and his bold declaration in 2014 that guest blogging is dead. Google’s former head of web spam said in his statement that guest posts were heavily abused by low-quality link spammers.
However, it’s worth noting that Google has never said that writing on other websites should be avoided at all costs. There’s a reason why some of the most successful brands can be seen on multiple high-quality websites, and that’s because guest blogging still works.
When is Guest Blogging Harmful?
If you’ve been doing SEO for a long time now, then you shouldn’t be surprised that many webmasters continue to leverage this technique to acquire a ton of links pointing back to their website. Their primary goal is to build links instead of sharing valuable information with their target audience. This is what you’d want to avoid. According to Google’s quality guidelines, every content you publish online should be helpful for your readers, whether it’s published on your site or elsewhere.
Most online marketers consider blogging as their top inbound marketing strategy. The phrase “content is king” is still thrown around a lot these days. Guest blogging only becomes harmful when you do it for the sole purpose of tricking the search algorithms. This used to work back in the day, but Google has become way smarter over the years. Building a ton of links wouldn’t do you any favors. In fact, it could be the reason why your website would get penalized sooner rather than later.
How to Do Guest Posts the Right Way.
The most important thing to keep in mind when doing guest posts is that your goal should go beyond acquiring a link. Here are some tips to help ensure that you do guest blogging correctly.
1) Use relevant and authoritative websites
There are plenty of websites out there in which you can publish content and place a link back to your own site. Some require you to pay money, while others are totally free. While these websites might look attractive, remember that they may not be the best ones to use for your guest blogging campaign. Reaching out to other bloggers in your niche is still the better option. This ensures that your content is published on a high-quality, relevant, and trustworthy website. This also offers the benefit of exposing your brand to an already targeted audience.
2) Be careful with your anchor text
Do you use exact match keywords for all your links? If so, you should stop this practice right now. Using a term like Edinburgh SEO for a local SEO agency is OK to use once or twice. Otherwise, you might get penalised by Google. It’s better to mix up your anchor text profile by using LSI terms, generic phrases, and naked URLs. This makes your links appear more natural.
3) Share valuable information
You should always create content with your target audience in mind, not search engine bots. Sometimes, you might get too caught up optimising your content by including a ton of keywords that your post suffers in quality. You need to find the right balance between providing useful information and optimising for search engines. Try to get feedback from your visitors so you can improve your content in the future.
4) Use other link building techniques
If all your links come from guest posts, how do you think Google would rank your website? There’s a good chance that you wouldn’t sit on top of the first page for your target keywords. While guest blogging is still an effective link building strategy when done correctly, you should learn other techniques in order to diversify your link portfolio. In addition to guest posts, you can also earn links by sharing info graphics, guides, whitepapers, videos, and other forms of rich media.
So, should you still use guest posts as part of your SEO strategy? The short answer is yes. When done within Google’s guidelines, you can still get fantastic results from your guest blogging efforts. As long as you publish high-quality content on relevant websites, there’s no need to worry about getting penalised by Google. In fact, this could be the reason why you’d get a favourable boost in your search engine rankings.